American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 38, No. 4, April

AIA/ALA Library Building Awards
The following libraries are winners of the 2007 Library Building Awards, sponsored by the American Institute of Architects and ALA's Library Administration and Management Association. The biennial award recognizes distinguished accomplishment in library...
Alsc
BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE The Association for Library Service to Children's (ALSC) award programs, advocacy initiatives, and partnerships support our core purpose of creating a better future for children through libraries. Learn more at www.ala.org/alsc/....
Audit: FBI Misused USA Patriot Act
Poorly trained FBI agents underreported the number of times the agency issued National Security Letters (NSLs) to obtain financial and telecommunications records in antiterrorism investigations, neglected to provide proper justification for their use,...
Ben Cohen
Ben Cohen, cofounder of Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream, has spent the past decade in the pie business--pie charts, that is. President and founder of the 10-year-old group Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities (www.sensiblepriorities.org), Cohen...
Building Libraries versus Schools: Why Do Libraries Cost More Than Schools?
According to Melanie Hennigan, AIA, LEED AP principal of Grimm + Parker Architects in Calverton, Maryland, there are several reasons: Libraries are significantly taller from floor to ceiling than school buildings. Schools typically have 8-to-10-foot-high...
Buying into Gossip: Why Teens Consume Chick Lit
For my whole life I have always been forced to read boring books," complained 13-year-old Tamara in June 2006 at Common Sense Media.org. "For example, Johnny Tremain, Call It Courage, A Wrinkle in Time, Where the Red Fern Grows, and other 'great' books...
Changing Library Education: Instructional Program Transformation Is Key to the Profession
I didn't intend to get involved in the ongoing debate about library education. Many ALA presidents before me, most recently Michael Gorman, have done a great deal to focus our attention on the need to more closely marry education and practice in a...
Chicago Toddles No More
There are two kinds of Chicago song lovers: those who prefer "My Kind of Town" and those who prefer "Chicago," in which the city is referred to as "that toddling town." I have always been one of the latter. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Working on this...
Deficits Bedevil Nation's School Librarians
Cash-strapped officials in at least two school districts were once again eyeing as expendable the salaries of library media specialists as budget planning for FY2008 intensifies. In California, the board of the Merced City School District voted...
Equity by Design: 2007 Library Design Showcase
A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views." Those words from the Library Bill of Rights ring true in modern library architecture. Today's library designers recognize the differing...
Filter-Policy Review Blocks Funding Threat
The board of the Monroe County (N.Y.) Library System agreed February 28 to conduct a 60-day review of its central library's longstanding policy of honoring requests by adults to unblock explicit websites and, in the meantime, to refuse all such requests....
Going Where Patrons Are: Outreach in MySpace and Facebook
Libraries have a long tradition of bringing services wherever their patrons are located, through such approaches as bookmobiles and branches in strip malls and community centers. This has also become the case in the online world. While most libraries...
How the World Sees Us
"Libraries are places where you can lose your innocence without losing your virginity." Writer GERMAINE GREER on her favorite word: "library," Guardian Unlimited (U.K.), February 12. "This is scary stuff. And I don't know what's more frightening:...
Human Error: When Good Intentions Meet Bad Planning, Library Users Pay the Price
The library director beamed appreciatively toward the bright new circulation desk in the equally new entry of the just-opened library. Looking beyond the entrance, she took note of the colorful young adult area and the inviting periodical lounge. After...
Impressionable Minds: The Age-Old Arguments for Propriety in Print
What's missing?" I asked myself. I had just finished browsing through the first 25 years of this magazine. Most of the professional concerns expressed from 1907 to 1930 would be fairly relevant today. The dreaded annual salary surveys revealed slow...
Looming Bush Library Sparks Access Debate
In the wake of resistance to the selection of Southern Methodist University in Dallas as the site for a George W. Bush Presidential Library and Policy Institute by a group of SMU faculty, some archivists and historians are trying to broaden the debate....
Newbery-Winner's "Scrotum" Reference Raises Ruckus
A thread on a school-library discussion list about the 2007 Newbery Award winner The Higher Power of Lucky catapulted the practice of school librarianship onto the front page of the February 18 New York Times. By late February, it had also propelled...
One Stage at a Time: Migration, Grief, and a New Generation
I had a presentation that I got some fun mileage out of a few years back. It was called "The 10 Stages of System Migration." I put together my parody of "The Five Stages of Grief" around the time that Sirsi had purchased DRA, and many libraries were...
Our Kind of Town: How the Chicago Public Library Is Changing the City
Building or renovating 52 libraries in 17 years would be a feat for any community. That this renaissance occurred in Chicago--the city that "makes no small plans"--is perhaps not surprising. That it has occurred when many library systems are struggling...
Passaic Assesses Plan to Close Aging Branch
At what board President Craig Miller characterized as a "raucous" three-and-a-half-hour meeting February 27, the Passaic (N.J.) Public Library board of trustees received community input on a plan to close its 104-year-old Reid Memorial branch, which...
Social Networking under Scrutiny
Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) reintroduced February 16 the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA), which was passed once before by the House 410-15 in July 2006 before dying in the Senate (AL, Sept. 2006, p. 9). The bill (H.R. 1120) withholds federal e-rate...
The Closure of a Library: Tax Caps Starve Communities-And Their Libraries
On April 6, public libraries in Jackson County, Oregon, are set to close, eliminating service for 195,515 people (AL, Mar., p. 14). Soon after, libraries in neighboring Josephine County (pop. 80,761) will close as well. Shutting down a library system...
The Fairest Libraries of Them All: Forty Years Ago, Architects and Librarians Joined Forces to Honor the Best in Library Design
After decades of friction, architects and librarians buried the weapons of the jabbing t-square and the overdue book fine some 40 years ago to jointly sponsor biennial awards for the best design of libraries. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Unlike Snow...
To Share or Not to Share: When Good Comments Go Bad
Once upon a time, one of my librarian friends applied for a position working for another librarian I knew. I contacted the hiring librarian and shared positive observations about the candidate. I felt very comfortable doing so because I knew both parties...
Videos Threaten Net Capacity
Librarians concerned about the efficacy of their internet connectivity are keeping an eye on reports that the recent proliferation of online videos on such popular websites as YouTube is pushing Web capacity to its limits. Many in the telecom industry...
W(h)ither Print? A Coda for the Codex
I don't recall what I wrote in my ad-missions essay for library school, some (ulp!) 25 years ago, which is probably just as well. I doubt it was of the "I love books" variety--although of course I do and always have, including the six stacked by the...
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